11 June 2021
Seven researchers based at the University of Oxford have today been honoured as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. The researchers have all played key roles in leading the University’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, from the development of new vaccines to the discovery of new drug treatments, findings which have saved many lives.
The list of those today recognised is:
- Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute, Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines, and Professor of Human Genetics, who becomes an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE), for services to Science and Public Health.
- Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology, who becomes a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE), for services to Science and Public Health.
- Peter Horby, Director of the Pandemic Sciences Centre, and Professor of Emerging and Infectious Diseases and Global Health, who becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to Medical Research.
- Martin Landray, Deputy Director of the Big Data Institute, and Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, who becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to Science and Public Health.
- Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, and Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, who becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to Public Health, particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Catherine Green, Associate Professor at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, who is appointed as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), for services to Science and Public Health.
- Teresa Lambe, Associate Professor at the Jenner Institute, who is appointed as an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), for services to Science and Public Health.
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said:
‘I am absolutely delighted by the recognition of our extraordinary colleagues who have worked so creatively and so tirelessly to develop a vaccine, and therapeutics, to protect us all from COVID-19. They and the teams that have supported them are saving lives around the world every day. We are all deeply proud of them.’
Adrian Hill said:
‘I am delighted to receive this award which reflects the efforts of so many colleagues at the Jenner Institute. This recognises not just the extraordinary efforts of those who worked on the COVID vaccine programme, but also a remarkable sequence of talented students, research fellows and senior investigators over the last 25 years.
‘Their efforts in designing, developing and clinically testing vaccines against globally important diseases allowed us to select the most effective vaccine type to address the pandemic. Hopefully, today’s awards will encourage more aspiring scientists to consider a career in vaccinology which has ever widening life-saving applications, as illustrated so well over the last year.’
Sarah Gilbert said:
‘I am humbled to receive this honour. I have worked in the development of vaccines against infectious pathogens for many years and in the last 17 months have been able to draw on all that I have learned in order to respond to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. I have been so fortunate to work with a very talented and dedicated team who made it possible to develop a vaccine in less time than anyone thought possible.’
Peter Horby said:
‘I am delighted to receive this honour and indebted to my family, friends and colleagues for their immense support and inspiration throughout my career. I’m incredibly fortunate to work with brilliant, dedicated colleagues across the globe, who collaborate tirelessly to make the world a safer place.’
Martin Landray said:
‘It is a huge privilege to receive this honour for services to public health and science. It is wonderful to see our use of streamlined clinical trials to improve treatment of major causes of poor health recognised in this way. Guiding the RECOVERY trial of treatments for COVID-19 over this past year has been an extraordinary experience with important lessons for so many other conditions in the future.
‘I am very grateful for this personal recognition – but I could not have done this alone. Medicine and science require collaboration and partnership. I am lucky to have had many truly inspirational mentors and outstanding colleagues, and I hope that all those who have supported me feel able to share in this recognition. My greatest thanks go to my wife and family who have shared this journey with me.’
Andrew Pollard said:
‘I am absolutely delighted and uplifted to receive this honour, standing in awe of our amazing international team of talented vaccine researchers and filled with admiration for the dedicated trial volunteers. Together we have built a coronavirus vaccine for the world providing a protective shield fit for a band of knights.’
Catherine Green said:
‘I hope that this recognition serves to highlight the phenomenally dedicated people at the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility and the whole project team who worked so hard to deliver this vaccine for the world. It has been a privilege, and a pleasure, to work with them all, and there are still many more challenges that we will continue to tackle together in the future.’
Teresa Lambe said:
‘It is a privilege to receive this recognition and I would like to thank the global team, whose imagination, hard work, and determination allowed us to turn the impossible into reality, making a vaccine in record time. Going forward, we need to remember what we can achieve when we work together, so we can make sure that future generations don't need to make the same sacrifices that we have.’
Professor Sarah Gilbert, Saïd Professor of Vaccinology, Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine
Sarah Gilbert is the Said Professor of Vaccinology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of East Anglia and her doctoral degree at the University of Hull. Following four years as a research scientist at the biopharmaceutical company Delta Biotechnology she joined Oxford University in 1994 and became part of the Jenner Institute when it was founded in 2005.
Her chief research interest is the development of viral-vectored vaccines that work by inducing strong and protective T and B cell responses. She works on vaccines for many different emerging pathogens, including influenza, Nipah, MERS, Lassa, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, and in 2020, initiated the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine project.
Working with colleagues in the Jenner Institute research labs, the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility and Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, all situated on the Old Road Campus in Oxford, she is able to take novel vaccines from design to clinical development, with a particular interest in the rapid transfer of vaccines into manufacturing and first in human trials.
She is the Oxford Project Leader for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 which is now in use in many countries around the world. She has been recognized for her ground-breaking work in vaccine development, notably receiving the Albert Medal from the Royal Society of Arts and being elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2021, as well as being named as one of Bloomberg’s 50 Most Influential people in 2020.
Professor Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute, Lakshmi Mittal and Family Professor of Vaccinology and Professor of Human Genetics, Nuffield Department of Medicine
Adrian Hill is Lakshmi Mittal and Family Professor of Vaccinology and Director of the Jenner Institute, which focuses on designing and developing vaccines for infectious diseases, many of which are prevalent in developing countries. He also heads a group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics researching genetic susceptibility factors for common bacterial diseases, and is an honorary consultant physician at the Oxford University Hospitals trust.
Born in Dublin, he trained in medicine at both Trinity College, Dublin, where he is now an honorary fellow, and Oxford University. In 2005 he founded the Jenner Institute at Oxford, now the largest University-based vaccine institute internationally. In 2021 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his world-leading work in the design and development of new vaccines for globally important infectious diseases, including as a member of the team that designed and developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the University’s Jenner Institute with the Oxford Vaccine Group.
He has been involved in the development of a range of different types of vaccines for illnesses including malaria, tuberculosis and Ebola. Since 1999 he has led over 50 clinical trials, mainly of Oxford-designed vaccines, while developing a range of new vaccine technologies, particularly simian adenoviral vectors. This has included many for outbreak pathogens such as Zika and Chikungunya, and in 2014 his group led the first clinical trial of a vaccine targeting the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. He is a passionate believer in the power of molecular medicine to design and deliver new health care interventions that will improve the lives of the poorest billion in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. His main vaccine programme has developed a particularly promising potential vaccine for malaria, which in a recent trial in children in sub-Saharan Africa proved to be 77% effective.
Professor Peter Horby, Director of the Pandemic Sciences Centre, and Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the Nuffield Department of Medicine
Peter Horby has led clinical and epidemiological research on a wide range of emerging and epidemic infections for almost two decades, including SARS, avian influenza (bird flu), Ebola, Lassa fever, monkeypox, and plague.
During the very earliest days of COVID-19, he worked with colleagues in China to characterise the illness and test new treatments. He co-led the UK Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 therapy (RECOVERY) trial, the largest randomised controlled trial of COVID-19 treatments in the world. The RECOVERY trial changed global treatment practices for COVID-19 three times in 100 days and is estimated to have saved over a million lives already.
He is Director of the Pandemic Sciences Centre at the University of Oxford; Executive Director of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC), and coordinator of the African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT). He is Chair of the UK Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Professor Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, and Honorary Consultant Physician in the Department of Cardiology at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Martin Landray works to further understand the determinants of common diseases through the design, conduct and analysis of efficient, large-scale clinical trials and prospective cohort studies. With Peter Horby, he co-led the RECOVERY trial, the largest randomised controlled trial of COVID-19 treatments in the world.
In June 2020, they announced that dexamethasone, an inexpensive and widely available steroid, reduced the risk of death for patients with COVID-19. Dexamethasone became standard treatment across the NHS within hours and worldwide within just a few weeks. Since then, it is estimated to have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
He has also led a series of major clinical trials assessing treatments for cardiovascular and kidney disease. These have enrolled over 65,000 individuals, producing results that have modified drug licenses, influenced clinical guidelines and changed prescribing practice to the benefit of patients. He is internationally recognised for his work on better regulation of clinical trials, and also continues to practise clinical medicine as an Honorary Consultant Physician in the Department of Cardiology at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, and Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, Department of Paediatrics, and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Andrew Pollard has been Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford since 2001 and is a Fellow of St Cross College and recent Vice Master of the College. He is also Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at Oxford University Hospitals Trust and has led the paediatric infectious disease clinical team at Oxford Children’s Hospital since 2001. His research involves the design, development, clinical testing and laboratory evaluation of vaccines, with the aim of preventing serious infectious disease and improving child health. He trained in medicine and paediatric infectious diseases in the UK and Canada and his research has supported global policy on typhoid, pneumonia, meningitis, Ebola and pandemic influenza as well as the use of many vaccines in the NHS.
He has led the global clinical trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, with the first doses given on 23 April 2020. He coordinated trial sites across the UK, Brazil and South Africa providing the key data on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy that led to authorisation around the world from the end of December 2020 and distribution of over 500M doses by the end of May 2021. He also worked on site at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford as a volunteer vaccinator.
He chairs the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, is a member of WHO’s SAGE and chaired the European Medicines Agency scientific advisory group on vaccines for 8 years until 2020.
He received the Bill Marshall award of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Disease in 2013, was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016, received the Rosen von Rosenstein award in 2019 and is a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator.
Catherine Green, Associate Professor and Head of the Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility, Nuffield Department of Medicine
Catherine Green heads the Nuffield Department of Medicine's Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility and is an Associate Professor at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics.
She specialises in creating vaccines for clinical trials and heads the Nuffield Department of Medicine's Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility (CBF) and is an Associate Professor at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics. Over the last 15 years, the CBF team has made many novel vaccines for first in human trials, covering diseases including malaria, TB, influenza, MERS, Zika, rabies, plague and Ebola.
She was one of the leads in the team who started work on developing a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in the very early days of the outbreak of this virus, in January 2020, alongside Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor Andrew Pollard, Professor Teresa Lambe, Dr Sandy Douglas, and Professor Adrian Hill.
Her CBF team has been an integral part of the University’s development of a ChAdOx1 vectored vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, in partnership with AstraZeneca. The first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was produced by the CBF in record time and is now approved for use in many countries around the world.
Teresa Lambe, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator at The Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine
Teresa Lambe is an Associate Professor and Principal Investigator at The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford. She completed her graduate studies at University College Dublin, Ireland, before continuing her post-doctoral training in 2002 under the guidance of Prof. Richard Cornall and Sir Prof. John Bell at the University of Oxford, moving to the Jenner Institute in 2009.
Her chief research interests involve collaborative ‘team science’ approaches to move from basic insights to globally impactful healthcare interventions against emerging and outbreak pathogens, in the shortest possible time. Her specific areas of expertise include zoonotic disease description and clinical trial assessment of interventions, and she continues to work on vaccines against globally important diseases including Ebola, Influenza, Nipah, MERS, and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
She is one of the Principal Investigators overseeing the University’s Covid-19 vaccine programme. In January 2020, she co-designed the vaccine before leading the pivotal pre-clinical studies required to allow clinical trials to commence in April 2020. She then played an integral role during the clinical trials overseeing the immunological assessment of vaccine responses, and supporting regulatory approval of the vaccine in late 2020. The vaccine has now been delivered to nearly half a billion people worldwide and has played a pivotal role in the fight against the virus.
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About the Nuffield Department of Medicine
The Nuffield Department of Medicine is a large research and teaching department with a grant portfolio of over £700m, 1,000 employees in the UK and 2,000 associated staff overseas programmes.
Its aim is to translate scientific discovery into clinical impact and it is known for:
- Integrating basic science and clinical specialities
- Pioneering the use of molecular, structural biology and genetics to study human disease
- World famous major tropical medicine units in Kenya, Thailand and Vietnam, with permanent units in six other countries.
- Drug Discovery programmes, clinical biomanufacturing and clinical trials
- Big Data
- Vaccine Development
- Human Immunology and the study of pathogens
About the Department of Paediatrics
The Department of Paediatrics is a world leader in child health research and hosts internationally renowned research programmes in drug development, gastroenterology, haematology, HIV, immunology, neuroimaging, neuromuscular diseases and vaccinology. Their work spans from early proof-of-concept fundamental science all the way up to its application in clinical settings.
About the Nuffield Department of Population Health
NDPH was created in July 2013 to undertake research and train scientists to seek answers to some of the most important questions about the causes, prevention and treatment of disease. This will improve health by reducing disability and premature death in both the developed and developing worlds. The challenges we face are increasingly complex and require evidence from large studies and collaboration across multiple disciplines and with other scientists around the world.
About the Medical Sciences Division
The Medical Sciences Division is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for biomedical and clinical research and teaching and is the largest of the four academic divisions within the University. The other three divisions are Humanities, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences and Social Sciences.
Over 5000 academics, researchers, NHS clinicians and GPs, and administrative staff, 1500 graduate and 1600 undergraduate students, together contribute to its extensive and exemplary research, teaching and clinical portfolios.
It aims to be the best university biomedical institution in Europe and amongst the best five biomedical institutions in the world, and has been ranked number one for the last ten years in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences - the only non-North American institution to be top-ranked by THE in any subject discipline.
About the University of Oxford
Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the fifth year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground-breaking research and innovation.
Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.
Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 200 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years.